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Halo Mongoose(s) with EVA and ODST Rookie

Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys


Once upon a time, McFarlane Toys was king. It can easily be argued that Todd was the father of the modern collectible action figure, bringing cool to the toy aisle in a way never seen before.

But the world moves on, and today McFarlane is not the leader they once were. Most of their in house and licensed lines are no more, including the iconic Spawn series. But there's still one line going strong - Halo.

McFarlane has produced figures based on the game for the last two years, and it is currently their only large action figure line. This series got them back into some mainstream retailers, like Target, where they had once been dominate but had since disappeared from the pegs. Having that sort of retailer support can be critical in the market today.
Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys

They've produced several extras in the series, including the cool Mongoose vehicle. Tonight I'm looking at two versions of the Mongoose, one that comes with the ODST Rookie, and one that comes with a yellow EVA. Both run about $20 at my sponsor     

Packaging - ***
These come boxed, but you can't see any of the interior contents. You'll have to depend on the photos on the outside, which do provide a good view.

The package is collector friendly, as it's easy to pull out the figure and bike, and put them back later if you'd like. The box is also very easy to store, taking up less room than a bubble and cardback.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Both figures have very finely detailed sculpted armor suits, especially for this scale. The EVA is about 5" tall, just like the rest of the standard Halo figures in the series, but the Rookie is smaller. He stands about 4 1/2" tall, and is scaled smaller all around. I've included a photo near the end that shows them together, along with a Stormtrooper for comparison.

Both Mongoose vehicles are identical when it comes to this category, but that's not a problem. The sculpt is excellent, and the vehicles actually look good with both figures...even though the two figures are very different in size! Personally, I like the smaller Rookie on the Mongoose a bit better, but the EVA works fine as well.

Paint - ****
Both the figures and the vehicles are very different when it comes to the Paint. Obviously, the yellow EVA is much brighter, and fits in a bit better in style with the other Halo figures in the line.

The smaller Rookie is really designed tow work well with the Mongoose, including his paint scheme. The striping and colors match nicely, making him look like part of the vehicle itself when he's sitting on the seat.

NOTE: A kind reader let me know this is what they call VISR mode, sort of a night vision/targeting mode. The green highlights indicate 'friend'. A very cool touch!

The EVA's Mongoose isn't quite as brightly decoed, with fewer highlights and a bit more of a standard military appearance.

The quality of the paint work is top notch all around, including the smaller details on both the figures and the vehicles.

Articulation - ***1/2
I might be confused, but these don't seem to have the same style hips and shoulders that the original series did. I searched around for the original Halo figures I reviewed back in '08, but sadly couldn't find them to do a direct comparison.

I loved the articulation on those figures, and was deeply impressed by the cool new style of ball joints that allowed for a tremendous range of movement and natural poses.

It looks like these are a bit more standard, and certainly cheaper to make. All the joints you'd expect in a modern action figure are here, including a good ball jointed neck, pin and post joints at the elbows, knees, wrists and ankles, and plenty of posability. But these weren't quite as good as the originals, and it looks to me like some minor changes have been made over the last two years.

The smaller Rookie can pose on the Mongoose quite well, but the larger EVA ends up sitting up above the seat. He works better standing on the back, and can kneel into the ATV and grip the handle just right, but without a gun he looks a little silly back there.

It's also worth noting in this category that the Mongoose has articulation of it's own. The handlebars turn (although they don't control the front wheels), and of course all four wheels turn quite freely.

Accessories - **
I'm not counting either the Mongoose or the figure as accessories, since they are both the main purchase. But there's no weapons, and that's a bit of a disappointment.

These guys really need guns, and the hands are sculpted to hold them. Adding in a gun would also give these a boost in the play factor, and without them, they aren't the best choice for a kid's first Halo figures.

Some of the armor is removable (like the shoulder pads on the EVA), which fits with the overall swappable concept of the series.

Along with some of the removable armor, there's also the removable windshield that comes with both of the Mongoose vehicles. These pop on and off easily, and none of the connectors show when they are in place.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While the articulation isn't quite what it used to be, and these really do need a weapon apiece, they are still a tremendous amount of fun. The mongoose ATV's work great, and the figures can ride on them fairly well.

Value - **1/2
At $20, you're getting a vehicle AND a figure. Since few figures are less than ten bucks these days, the combo is a decent value at $20. Of course, had they thrown in a weapon or two, it would have been a far better value.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
These are great toys, and as much as I feel McFarlane has generally dropped the ball in the last two years in many areas, this line isn't one of them. Halo fans have been given a terrific action figure series, and it's been around long enough now that it doesn't get the kind of coverage it probably deserves.

I love the two vehicles, and the EVA looks as good as the rest of the Halo figures. The Rookie is a little small, but he looks great on the Mongoose. The only thing holding these two back from the extra half star is the lack of any guns - I was disappointed that they couldn't shoot and drive at the same time.

If I could only have one of these, I'd actually go for the Mongoose with the Rookie. I think he looks better riding it, and the striping that's on the Mongoose really adds some punch. You can add in one of your regular Halo figures, with weapons, on the back of the Mongoose to complete the look.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - **
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Our Sponsor Clark Toys has a ton of great Halo figures and toys, including these two.

Related Links -
I've covered a few of the Halo goodies:

- the last was the terrific 12" version.

- I covered some of wave 2, and I split series 1 between here and over at QSE.

- I also had a guest review of Master Chief.

Before Halo 3, and before McFarlane got the license, Joyride Studios made larger action figures based on Halo 2. Here's some guest reviews:

- here's their version of the Grunt.

- there's also a guest review of the Elite Guard.

- And you can't forget their version of Master Chief!

Discussion:
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Halo Mongoose action figure vehicle by Mcfarlane Toys


This product was provided free for the review. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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